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NWA 8159 Martian Meteorite Martian (augite basalt) Morocco Found: 2013  ...
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About the item

We know that Northwest Africa (NWA) 8159 and the 234 other listed Martian meteorites journeyed here from Mars because of the robot Viking spacecraft that landed on the Red Planet in 1976. Six years after those landings, Drs. Johnson and Bogard were studying an unusual meteorite with a most unusual name - Elephant Moraine 79001, which had been found in Antarctica in 1979. Astonishingly, the two scientists discovered that tiny amounts of gas trapped within 79001 were a close match to the thin atmosphere of Mars, as recorded by the Viking landers. This experiment has been confirmed by looking at gaseous inclusions from several other Martian meteorites, clearly indicating their origin point. What a fiery and furious life  and its "cousins" have led! Blasted off the surface of their home planet by other meteorite impacts (the impactors likely being large asteroid fragments), they wandered in space until encountering our planet. They were super-heated in our atmosphere - as meteors or shooting stars - before falling to Earth and later being discovered, then identified and classified.At the present time, there are 61,316 different meteorites listed in the . That number represents the total of all meteorites officially recognized by academia in the history of the science of meteoritics. Of these, a mere 235 are Martian meteorites, making them among the scarcest commodities that any human has ever owned or touched. Of the 235 known Martians, the vast majority belong to the SNC class, that being an acronym for three celebrated Martian meteorites: Shergotty (fell Bihar, India, 1865); Nakhla (fell Al Buhayrah, Egypt, 1911); Chassigny (fell Champagne-Ardenne, France, 1815). The rare Martian polymict breccias account for another 17 recognized Martians. The  lists two meteorites from Mars that exist all by themselves - literally in a class of their own. One is the OPX class, whose sole listed member is the puzzling Alan Hills 84001 meteorite, which after being discovered in Antarctica, caused a worldwide sensation when some researchers believed they had found signs of fossilized life within it. Examples of that meteorite are not available for sale. The other class, with a single intriguing member, is described as "Martian (augite-basalt)" in the . The meteorite itself is , and only 149.4 grams are known to exist in the entire world.After the single  stone was found in Morocco, it was brought to the United States in 2013 and sent to the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque for classification. In its official write-up,  was described by the submitting scientist as "a fine grained olivine-bearing augite basalt that does not appear to be a SNC type although there are some aspects of it that resemble SNC." Its primary composition is ~48-50% augite, ~37-40 % plagioclase, with lesser amounts of olivine, magnetite, and orthpyroxene. Further analysis conducted during 2015 resulted in reports of "shock-melt veins of unique texture" and noted the presence of "high-pressure mineral phases including majoritic garnet, stishovite, coesite, tissinite, and ahrensite.While a small number of representative pieces of  were made available to academia and collectors, the mass has remained largely intact since its discovery. The few pieces that were released have been studied by academia and cherished by collectors, and were acquired at an extremely high dollar-per-gram rate, indicating the rarity of this meteorite and, indeed, this meteorite class. The rigorous and repeated studies conducted on  by various experts have determined without question that it is a piece of the Red Planet and, in addition, a very rare type indeed, which appears to be unlike most, or possibly all, other known Martian meteorites. Heritage Auctions is pleased to offer the MAIN MASS (largest known extant piece) of the Martian augite basalt meteorite, . An important and fascinating offering, it is a meteorite of such uniqueness and value that it is definitely to be considered a world-class specimen... on two different worlds![360 degree video]HID07601242017
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500,000 USD

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